CEO Report: The Economic Impact of Healthcare
Posted on March 05, 2019
"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." - Aristotle
For those who are growing weary of this long Michigan winter, I have good news: spring is near. Across the country, we signal its arrival with Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog, looking for his shadow. In Michigan, it’s trillium flowers and morel mushrooms sprouting up in the woods, ice melting off the lakes and farmers preparing their fields for a new crop.
Spring here is also foreshadowed by the traditional release of our Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan report. Published in collaboration with our partners from the Michigan State Medical Society and the Michigan Osteopathic Association, this report once again shows the significant role healthcare plays as an employer and economic driver in Michigan. As the largest creator of direct, private-sector jobs, providing more than $38.1 billion a year in wages, salaries and benefits to healthcare workers, the impact of healthcare in Michigan is hard to miss.
This impact is not limited to those directly employed by hospitals or other healthcare providers; 19 of every 100 jobs in Michigan are directly or indirectly related to or induced by healthcare. That means, for every staff member inside of a hospital, that job and income impact the nearby businesses and local economy. The impact of healthcare is so significant, in part, because of the very highly educated (and hence, comparatively high-wage) jobs that we provide.
This impact in Michigan is comparable to the impact of automotive manufacturing and education combined, and it touches every geographic region. In towns both large and small, a hospital or health system is quite often the largest employer. One of my favorite aspects of representing the MHA is being able to travel the state and see the unique roles hospitals play across Michigan. Whether it be in large urban settings, such as Detroit or Grand Rapids, or rural settings in the Thumb or the Upper Peninsula, hospitals improve the physical, mental and economic well-being of their surrounding communities.
Finally, as we recognize and celebrate the economic impact of healthcare in Michigan, we need to also dedicate ourselves to ensuring the mental and physical well-being of our front-line caregivers and staff members – the people who interact with patients and their families every day. The MHA Board of Trustees has recognized the importance of this “fourth aim,” and we are acting accordingly. We have engaged the field in a workplace safety assessment and this week have initiated a series of regional training sessions on this important issue. Gary Roth, DO, our MHA Chief Medical Officer, is leading our efforts to combat clinician burnout, while our advocacy team is supporting state legislation that will stiffen penalties against those who commit acts of violence against healthcare workers.
Our mission is to advance the health of individuals and communities, and it is that mandate that drives the more than 230,000 hospital employees whose shifts span 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. At the MHA, we are incredibly proud to be their ally, advocate and partner.
As always, I welcome your thoughts.
Posted in: MHA Rounds